BY YANEEK SMITH, BEACON CONTRIBUTOR
OAK HARBOR — Despite winning in convincing fashion, 33-14, Oak Harbor needed its defense to come up with some crucial stops in the early stages of the game to ensure victory over Edison.
Trailing, 7-0, late in the first quarter, the Chargers (5-3, 2-1 SBC Bay) drove 70 yards in 12 plays, reaching the Rockets’ 1-yard-line before QB Thomas Simon was stuffed just short of the end zone. Earlier in the drive, Edison converted on a halfback pass on fourth-and-4 from the Oak Harbor 32, but Justin Hosley, who caught the pass from Jake Brewer, stumbled and fell at the 5-yard-line.
Oak Harbor (8-0, 3-0) proceeded to drive 99 yards in 15 plays, scoring on a 5-yard run by Jac Alexander with 6:33 left in the second quarter to push the lead to 14-0. But Edison had its chance to cut the lead in half when Alexander, who was punting, had to go down on a knee at the Rocket 8-yard-line, giving the Chargers new hope.
But Edison was turned away yet again as a holding penalty pushed them back, and Oak Harbor took over.
“The stops that our defense had in the red zone were big plays in the game,” said Oak Harbor coach Mike May. “Edison would have been able to build some momentum in the first half if they would have scored in those situations. It would have been a different game.
“Edison is always a well-coached, physical team. We knew it would be a tough game. The option offense is always hard to prepare for. I thought our kids did a good job playing their assignments on defense and limiting their big plays.”
The Rockets responded by driving 93 yards in five plays to boost their lead to 20-0. Alexander and Tyler May connected on a 37-yard pass to set up the touchdown, which came on a 32-yard pass from Alexander to Clay Schulte with 37 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, Alexander and May had two touchdown passes (41, 15) to push the lead to 33-0, and the Chargers scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach.
Alexander finished 7-of-11 with 158 yards and three touchdowns and ran 15 times for 69 yards and a score, Schulte carried the ball 14 times for 102 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 49 yards and a score and May caught four passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
“I think our offense played well against a very physical Edison defense. Offensively, we have been consistent all year,” said May. “Our offensive line had another good game and our skill position guys made some big plays.”
This Friday, Oak Harbor welcomes Willard (0-8, 0-3), which is coming off a 63-28 loss to Port Clinton.
“They are an athletic football team that is better than their record. The quarterback is one of the best athletes in the SBC and they have a good group of receivers,” said May. “They are a young team that plays hard.”
The Rockets, ranked fifth in Division V, currently find themselves second in the Region 18 standings with 19.01 points. Orrville, located just outside of Akron, is first with 19.03 points.